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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HANSARD 11 April 2018 44 53
PARLIAMENT OF ZIMBABWE
Wednesday, 11th April, 2018
The National Assembly met at a Quarterpast Two o’clock p.m.
(THE ACTING SPEAKER in the Chair)
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE ACTING SPEAKER
PETITIONs RECEIVED FROM CIVIC ORGANISATION
THE ACTING SPEAKER (HON. MARUMAHOKO): I have to
inform the House that on Tuesday, 20th March, 2018, Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from Mr. L. Jackson requesting
Parliament to look at the gross maladministration and governance by
Chitungwiza Municipality. The petition has since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Public Works and National
I also have to inform the House that on Tuesday, 17th March, 2018,
Parliament of Zimbabwe received a petition from the Dzivarasekwa
Conservation Trust and on 28th March, 2018 another from the Budiriro
Water Foundation requesting Parliament to compel the Minister of
Environment, Water and Climate to urgently regazette the Harare Wetlands map as well as create a well coordinated institutional framework on wetlands preservations among other issues.
The petitions have since been referred to the Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Climate and Hospitality Industry.
OMMISSION ON THE ORDER PAPER
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I wish to draw the attention of the House to an omission on the Order Paper where notices of presentation of the following Bills were inadvertently omitted from the Order Paper.
- Companies and other Business Entities Bill [H.B. 3,2018]
- Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill
[H.B. 4, 2018]
The two entries stand as notices of presentation of Bills Numbers 1 and 2 on today’s Order Paper.
*HON. SITHOLE: On a point of order Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister of Finance and Economic Development to explain to us when we are going to get our outstanding allowances. We were promised that we were going to get something by the end of the month but up to now, there is nothing that we have received, even stands. So, we want to know the exact position?
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Sithole, the money
that is there right now is for those who are using their private accommodation, those not in hotels but for the outstanding allowances, it is not yet ready. I think that instead of us raising questions concerning our welfare in the House, we should go through our Chief Whips for dignity purposes so that we do not publish things like this in the media. If money is available, monies will be availed before the end of this
Session. Thank you.
*HON. MLISWA: I hear what you are saying Hon. Speaker. My colleagues have got Chief Whips but as an independent Member of Parliament, I do not have a Chief Whip. So, this issue on stands, it emanates from this House, so how are we going to handle it because some Hon. Members have already gone and imposed themselves, some do not have anywhere to go. So, what are we going to do with those people who are not going to be reelected and they have been promised to get stands. It looks like Parliament is now a House of liars. How are we going to handle this?
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: You as an independent without a Chief Whip, you contact the Leader of the House, he is your Chief Whip, he can assist you. However, let us get an answer on the stands issue – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, order.
Hon. Mliswa you have asked the question about stands and like I have said before, I think we should go through our Chief Whips. You do not have a Chief Whip, as you have said but you can approach any Chief Whip or the Leader of the House. The issue of stands is being worked on and so, you will be approached before you go back to your constituencies.
HON. CHINOTIMBA: Mr. Speaker I want to ask the Leader of the Opposition whether Dr. Khupe is still Leader of the Opposition. I am asking because we are …
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please. Hon. Mliswa order please. Take your seat Honourable. Order, order please. Hon. Members, I am not in a position to answer that question and it does not concern the business of this House.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Members are there no questions
today so that I proceed with the other business of the day?
HON. GONESE: Mr. Speaker, on a matter of privilege Mr. Speaker, I thought that as the August House, we are owed some explanation. The Chair is making reference to the issue of questions without notice but we also note Mr. Speaker that on your right, the persons to whom we are supposed to be putting the questions are not there. So far I am only seeing the Leader of the House and Hon. Prof. Murwira yet we have said time and again Mr. Speaker that we require an explanation.
In terms of the Standing Orders Mr. Speaker, we are owed an explanation as to whether any Ministers have sought Leave of Absence. I thought that clarification as to whether anyone had sought Leave of Absence was going to come first before you invited Members to ask the questions.
Mr. Speaker we have said it before that on Wednesdays, we must put the matters of the nation ahead of party business and Mr. Speaker, we got assurance from the Hon. Speaker that if there is a Politburo meeting, they would ensure that it finishes on time to enable those members of the Politburo, including the heads of this institution namely the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker respectively, including the Government Chief Whip, who are also members of that august body, to be released on time. Therefore, that is the explanation I thought we were going to get first before we can put questions to the only two Ministers here present.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please. I am informed by the Leader of the House that Ministers are on their way coming. Hence, we should expect them in the House any minute now. In the meantime we may ask questions to those Ministers who are here while waiting for the rest of them to come in.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Leader of Government Business. Hon. Minister Ziyambi, as a nation we have gone more than hundred days now following the coming in of the new dispensation that was ushered in following the military intervention and following the promise by the President, His Excellency Cde E. D. Mnangagwa, that the hundred day period was going to be a trying period that had to make sure that we go forward as a nation; now following the expiry of the hundred day period, we still have queues in the banks and we still do not have cash in the banks.
What is the Government Policy Hon. Minister with regard to the problem of cash shortages in the banks so that at least, we alleviate the challenges we are experiencing. I remember last time the President himself promised that, he would be in the queues yet we are still to see him there at least receiving his twenty dollar bond note just like everyone else is doing. In fact, it is no longer twenty dollars now. I think it is around five dollars and I hope he will be able to answer adequately.
Thank you very much Hon. Speaker.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFIARS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question which he asked pertaining to the programme of Government, the Hundred Day Programme and what he indicated as promises to end queues within hundred days which is not correct. When the President came in, he promised to introduce a new culture of working and of accountability. Hence the Government cameup with the hundred day targets to ensure that we turn around the economy and introduce a new culture and work ethic. Among the targets which were set, nobody indicated that the problem of cash is a problem that can be overturned overnight. I thank you.
HON. MUNENGAMI: Hon. Minister I really want to thank you regarding the answer which you just delivered to us but Hon. Minister, the shortage of cash in the country is still a very big problem that even the President himself spoke about the issue. Within the 100 day period which the President had said, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Patrick Chinamasa also alluded to the very same issue that indeed, the problems which the country was facing in as far as cash shortages were concerned was that the problem was going to end. As we are today, that problem has not ended. In fact, it has actually gone worse Hon. Speaker. As we speak right now, there is not even a single cent in the banks. People are still sleeping in the banks but the 100 day period has actually gone. We are more than 100 days; we are now 300 days beyond and you are still promising. You are still saying things which are actually not even helping the nation. Where is the promise which the President promised us on the 100 day period? Simple Hon.
Minister. I thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf THE
MINISTER OF FINANCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
(HON. CHINAMASA): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir...
Hon. Mliswa having been chatting with other Hon.Members.
Order, Hon. Mliswa, what makes you
sit there today? Please less noise.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. What I want to say is that the Hon. Member just repeated himself. What he said the first time and what he has said is the same and the answer is still the same. Government never promised that the cash shortage will end overnight. It is a programme to ensure that the economy is turned around and it is not something that you expect someone to get in and overnight things change. It is work in progress and within our 100 day plan, I do not remember anywhere where it is written that the cash shortages are going to be turned within the 100 days and no queues will be there.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. The Hon. Minister indicated that the President promised a new culture and not certain tangibles and that is what the Hon. Minister indicated earlier on. Today is the 72nd day that the wives of Hwange Colliery workers are still camped outside Hwange Colliery offices...
Order Hon. Member.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: I am addressing the issue of culture Hon.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, that is not a supplementary question to the original question. Hon. Sibanda, just go to your question or else I will just ask you to sit down. Get your question relevant to the first question that has been posed.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Hon. Speaker, my supplementary is based on the fact that the Hon. Minister has indicated that what the President promised was a new culture. So, I just wanted to preface my question by showing certain incidences that have happened and ask whether it is part and parcel of the...
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Sibanda. The question
was about cash in the banks and you stick to that.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: It was cash versus the 100 days.
Yes, you stick to that.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Okay Hon. Speaker. Under the circumstances Hon. Minister, now that you said the cash shortages were going to be resolved beyond 100 days, would we say that Government has therefore failed to resolve this cash crisis and that if it has failed, is there any reasonable cause why...
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Sibanda. You are
repeating and the Minister did not say that. He said it cannot be turned overnight. So, please take your seat?
HON. MAONDERA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon. Minister, it
looks like the cash situation is worsening...
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Are you on a supplementary question
or on a new question because I recognised you in the first instance that you stood up for it.
HON. MAONDERA: Okay, I can go for a new question.
Hon. Mliswa and Hon. Gonese having stood up for supplementary
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Unless you are not repeating Hon.
Mliswa. If you are repeating, I will just ask you to sit down.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, the issue of cash is important especially now when the tobacco farmers are not even accessing their own cash. They have worked hard for the season. They need their cash, they are not getting it and the tobacco farmers are earning foreign currency. The gold miners get foreign currency because they are generating foreign currency. Why are the tobacco farmers not getting foreign currency when they are generating foreign currency because if there are no bond notes, they are allowed to have that? So, the Minister must respond to this cash crisis that even those who are working hard have no access to their cash when it is time for them to get their cash. What is the position in terms of the access of the money to the tobacco farmers in this season?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Hon. Mliswa, may be the pertinent
question is on foreign currency. Otherwise the other question has already been attended to by the Minister.
HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order Hon. Speaker. Just before you answer, I think Hon. Speaker to be honest; you are sort of protecting the Minister. Allow the Members of Parliament to ask questions to the Minister. Do not try to protect the Ministers. The issue of cash shortage is a big issue in this country and if you can allow such an issue just to be like that, we do not think that it will be fair. Thank you Hon. Speaker.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I want to thank Hon. Mliswa for the question which I request him to put in writing for onward transmission to the relevant Minister to address. It is not a policy issue. Thank you.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker Sir, you recall that the last time the
Minister of Finance has not been in the House for the past two months and we keep referring questions to him. This issue of cash is critical to the country and we cannot keep on postponing that issue. Why does he allow himself to take questions which he knows he cannot respond to? It is a waste of time. The whole nation wants to know what legislators are doing about the cash crisis. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Mr. Speaker, it is either the Government admits that it have failed and then we go to a new Government so that it can solve the problems. It is either you have done it or you have not. It is a fact and I say so. Thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please!
HON. GONESE: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Hon. Minister of Justice, in his capacity as the Leader of the House is what are the concrete measures, the specific interventions that his Government is going to come up with in order to resolve this crisis which is a debilitating crisis which affects all the people of Zimbabwe? It is important Mr. Speaker for the Hon. Minister to give us an indication as to when we can expect this crisis to be resolved. It has been with us for a very long time and I believe that as a Member of Cabinet, they sit in Cabinet, they must be ceased with these matters and it is critical that the Hon. Leader of the House tells us what are the specific and concrete policy measures that they want to put in place in order to resolve this crisis and as to when we can expect a solution? If they are clueless, they must tell us so that they have no answer to the crisis. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order! Order at the back, Hon. Members, I think the Hon. Minister was abundantly clear. He said that he will refer all those questions to the relevant Minister. So, there is no problem. – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – Order, Order! Please take your seat. Hon. Mliswa, why do we not remain friends? If you continue, I may ask you to go out? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Yes, I will do that.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank Hon. Gonese for the question. I have to preface the answer by saying that we have RTGs money and we have United States dollars. In circulation at any one given time now, we have about US$500 million compared to about $1.5 billion RTGs money. So, you will find that the demand for US dollars is more than what we have in terms of RTGs money. What the Government has been doing is to ensure that we put policies to ensure that we promote investment into the country so that we have inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.
We have several projects that are going to be initiated that are going to come into the country. Most of them are in the public domain. The main purpose of that is that when foreign currency starts flowing into the country, there will be a balance between what we have and the
RTGs money and the shortages will subside. Thank you.
HON. MANGAMI: My question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. Minister, what is Government policy regarding the access of drugs to victims of rabbis?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON.
SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for that question. The policy on antirabbis vaccine or antirabbis treatment is that as a country we are experiencing a lot of dog bites a lot of them are due to unvaccinated dogs. We are urging people generally to have their dogs vaccinated so that even if there are dog bites and those dogs are vaccinated, they will not transmit rabbis. Generally, we urge that if you have been bitten by a dog and it is unknown whether it was vaccinated or not, you should have the appropriate three doses of antirabbis vaccine from our institutions. A lot of our institutions have the antirabbis vaccine. Thank you Mr. Speaker.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: Minister, where I come from in the rural areas, if you are bitten by a dog, you are asked to go and buy the antirabbis vaccine. I do not know whether you can help us understand where we can get the vaccines because old people there cannot get that medicine. I do not know what we can do as has been asked by Hon. Members about the unavailability of those vaccines. Even at
Birchnough Bridge, people are asked to buy those antirabbis vaccines. Are people supposed to buy on their own or the Government is supposed to give people for free or to pay so that people get the vaccines?
*HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: I want to thank Hon.
Chinotimba for his question. Many clinics do not have antirabbis vaccines. We tried to stock antirabbis vaccines in the district hospitals because they need cool temperatures like storing in refrigerators and in some clinics there is no power. What we want is to have those antirabbis vaccines at all clinics but they have a very short lifespun, so they might stay there for a long time without being utilised and they expire.
HON. P. D. SIBANDA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. Hon. Minister,
I am sure you realise that the prices for those drugs are out of reach of ordinary Zimbabweans, even those that are employed; not talking of the over 97% of our unemployed people. What efforts and what policy measures is Government putting in place to ensure that those drugs become affordable to the ordinary person in the country?
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Let me thank Hon.
Sibanda for that question. Our policy is that in Government institutions and in our clinics, most of the drugs that are put under what we call the EDLIZ or essential drug list should be available and they should be available so that the majority of our people can access them. We want them to access especially in the clinics, free of charge. We try very much to satisfy that EDLIZ but sometimes because of constraints of resources, it is not always possible to get those drugs as we need them. The policy is that we should be able to have the very essential drugs in our clinics so that people do not get that burden of going to purchase from private pharmacies which may be very expensive because the private pharmacies themselves import those drugs privately and they put on their own mark up. So, we prefer that all those essential drugs should be appropriately available in our institutions and subject to resources. This is actually our biggest impediment; the resources that we need to purchase the drugs that we need to fit in the EDLIZ list that we have so that the majority of our people can access those particular medicines.
*HON. MAONDERA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Hon. Kagonye. My question Minister is in line with NSSA pensioners. What is Government policy on increasing their allowances taking into account that they are supposed to come and renew? Also, the money that they are getting is very little. They last had an increase way back.
*THE MINISTER OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL WELFARE
(HON. KAGONYE): Thank you Mr. Speaker. Thank you Hon.
Member for your question. The policy in place is that actuarial; those who work to come up with figures, they sit every year and see if it can be reviewed upwards and by how much. This exercise was last done December last year, that is why it is now $80 from $60. At the end of the year, that exercise is going to be done as well and see how much percentage it can be raised by.
*HON. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Thank you Hon. Minister about the acturials that see how much the pensioners should be given. What policy does Government have in terms of looking after pensioners funds in terms of investment? We read in the newspapers that some were invested in banks that have folded and some have been used to build infrastructure that is not functioning but they are getting peanuts as we speak.
*HON. KAGONYE: Thank you for your question. The plans that are there are that these funds are for workers, even the groups that look at the investors, there are some who represent workers. Even in the board of NSSA, they are chosen by the people, some are chosen by the employers and some chosen by the Government. All of us will be responsible and when it comes to investment, everyone will be in the picture and know how the funds are used. Our desire is that when our money is being invested, it should be able to grow so that people who have their pensions realise some profits in line with what the board has put in place – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Minister, the question was, what plans are there to curb the misuse of funds?
*HON. KAGONYE: The way the money is being used is that it is taken to the investment committee and they investigate to see whether the money is being used properly. This investment committee is the one that has the representatives of the employees, employers and the Government. That committee is the one that looks at each and every investment before it is done so that they will see whether it is fruitful. I know that from the past, what used to happen was that some funds were invested and nothing was realised. Right now, we are working very hard that the investment committee should investigate to find out whether the investment that needs to be done will realise something. Also, we have auditors who audit all the funds. I thank you.
*HON. TARUSENGA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My supplementary question to the Minister was that when she talked about the acturials that they are the ones that increase the pensions, during the former Minister’s time, the acturials had recommended that the money should be increased from $50 to $150. What made them to settle on $80 and when are the allowances going to reach $150?
*HON. KAGONYE: Thank you. I think this question was once asked in this Parliament and the Minister who was there is here. He had said that it was his wish that the allowances be raised from $80 to $150 but he said this before the acturials had not completed their work. After their calculations, they realised that if we get to $150, our fund will collapse within two years. That is why they recommended that $80 is the one that is practical to give people but at the end of the year, after their review, they might review it from $80 to a certain figure that I cannot say because that exercise has not been done yet. It has scientific backing. When the results are out, we will come back and announce whatever the results from the acturials would be. I thank you.
*HON. CHIBAYA: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. Hon. Minister, on the issue of pensioners, the figure of $80 that they are getting, I think in this House we once debated that they are the last group to receive their salaries and we are talking of old people. What plans do you have in place so that our pensioners get their salaries first? I thank you.
*HON. KAGONYE: We have engaged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe so that we lighten the lives of the pensioners, not only in terms of time but also that we can give them money through ecocash platforms so that they can access their money wherever they are instead of them spending money to go and collect money from centres. We want it to be very easy for pensioners to get their money. What made them to be the last group is that the money that we give them comes from current pension contributors. Therefore, we wait for all the people to get their money and submit their contributions so that we have money to give to pensioners. Probably, by the end of this week, we will be having an answer to alleviate that.
Some Hon. Members having risen on supplementary questions.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: That is enough, no more
supplementary. Order, take your seats.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you for recognising me Mr. Speaker. It is an open secret that Chegutu West Constituency has been ravaged by cholera in 2008 where more than 400 people died and in 2018, about four people died because of cholera. My question is therefore Mr. Speaker, as regards to the policy in regards to infrastructure development and it is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care, in particular, regarding the European Development Fund of 254 million Euros that is given to Zimbabwe in the five years. What policy direction are you giving to that fund to try and direct it to infrastructure development in particular sewer and water reticulation in general towards the cholera epidemic, in particular again to Chegutu West Constituency?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker
Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Nduna for his question. It is true that the
EU has provided us with 20.6 million Euros for the next three years. This is quite a lot of money from a partner while Government should be providing the core funding, which Government does. We are pleased that partners like EU have been consistent since 2005 when we had the
Health Transitional Fund that we then converted to Health Development Fund. That money has been earmarked for the vulnerable groups particularly in women of childbearing age and in young women in particular because of the challenges that young women are facing, right from gender based violence to the issue of unwanted pregnancies. They have invested that money as a dedicated project, but further to that, they are also looking at strengthening the fight against HIV, which we think is also very appropriate for those vulnerable groups. We think that they have also put in money through the economic sector, where perhaps, they will invest more into things like sanitation, issues of women development in the markets and that will also go a long way towards addressing the issues that have been asked by Hon. Nduna.
It is important to note that cholera has been with us for a long time and will stay with us until and unless we improve sanitation in this country. If our sanitation is poor and we have sewage – last Friday I visited a place where there is cholera, in Stoneridge Park, where there are about five thousand families. These people were moved from
Arlingtone and located at this particular place near Manyame River. Stoneridge Park is located along Mbudzi and then you turn left as if you are headed towards Chitungwiza, that settlement there is Stoneridge. What has happened in that settlement is that; when they dig up to construct a toilet, within two metres, they reach the water level and so as they try to use the toilets, there is water and the water and the toilets are mixing and you cannot avoid cholera or diarrhoea in such an environment. I think these are the issues that we need to address and we are addressing now as Government in coordination with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to make sure that these people are moved from those areas.
As long as you have poor sanitation, no water supply, we will have a situation like that which happened in Chegutu, Norton and
Chitungwiza again. So, although now we have no cholera case in Zimbabwe, we had two deaths in the past week from that Stoneridge area I am talking about. So, we need to address the issue of cholera, sanitation, clean water supply and our own personal hygiene as a nation so that we negate the diseases like cholera, typhoid and other diarrhoeal diseases. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. NDUNA: I want to thank the Hon. Minister for his quite rounded answer. However, in this month of April, 2018, the European
Union (EU) and the Commission indicated that they have got the European Development Fund (EDF) up for review on the 20 million Euro that the Hon. Minister alludes to. What effort or policy intervention do you have in terms of diverting or virementing the amount that is currently being utilised in Zimbabwe as a grant from the EDF towards the alleviation of the plights of the unsuspecting innocent citizens affected by that cholera epidemic that you actually eloquently talk about?
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker
Sir. Let me thank Hon. Nduna again for the follow up question. When we agreed with the EU on a certain project and then we said; this is a project that we want to be funded, it is usually confined to that. I know that the money is not enough; there are many other issues that are needed in this country in terms of health. We cannot always then say that, we have agreed on sexual and reproductive health for example, like we did in this particular case, and then they give us that partnership money, for us to divert that money to elsewhere, it is very difficult. What we can only do in this particular case is to put up a programme, not only as Government to be able to say, ‘how do we manage cholera in this country?’ What money should be put in for cholera in this country? Like I said, the biggest issue is sanitation. If your sewerage system is not working, if you do not have water supply that is clean, portable water, you will always have that problem.
So, we need to invest as a country, not just the EU as a partner but as a country to say; can we change our piping system, how do we pump more water to Mabvuku or how do we improve the housing situation in the country and limit the settlements that are there. To divert money from EU to put into this infrastructure may not be the most appropriate way of doing it, but wherever there is an emergency of cholera, we have rushed there as a Ministry and arrested it as much as we can, like we did in Chegutu and like we thought we were doing in Norton and what we have done in Stoneridge Park. We are rushing there not just as a Government but with various other partners who are now very alert in this emergency. I can assure you that we are doing the best we can but as long as we do not have adequate sanitation, I would not be surprised that I would be called again that there is another outbreak elsewhere and we rush again. However, that is not the solution; the solution is to improve our sanitation, water supply, clean hands and hygiene in this country. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, I have got a supplementary.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Nduna – [HON.
MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] Order please, there is only one Speaker, who is me, can we take our seats. Hon. Nduna, I am not going to allow you to continue asking supplementary questions, there are also other Hon. Members who need to come in.
HON. MLISWA: Mr. Speaker, my supplementary question to the Hon. Minister of Health and Child Care is; the Ministry of Health and Child Care was supposed to build two thousand clinics and the policy was that within 10km radius, there must be a clinic. We have got four month to go before the next election, how many have been built out of the 2000 that he spoke about? I am talking about the infrastructure aspect of it which is something that was within the manifesto of the ruling party, which then became the policy of ZANU PF that 2000 clinics will be built. How many have been built within a radius of 10km.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Is that a new question or it is a supplementary question?
HON. MLISWA: Hon. Nduna’s question was about infrastructure, EU money going into infrastructure, so I am asking what the Government has done in terms of the policy it had of building 2000 clinics. We now have four months before elections, is there a miracle which is going to happen to ensure that they comply with that?
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you very much
Hon. Mliswa. Let me thank you Hon. Speaker Sir, for this question. It is true that as a country, we enunciated a policy that we aim to reach to a situation where a person should not walk more than 8kms before they reach a clinic. This policy was enunciated in 2002. The idea was to decentralise our system. What we have, as you are aware Mr. Speaker
Sir, is we have got six central hospitals which are now decentralised into [AN HON. MEMBER: That is not the question.] – into eight provincial hospitals – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order please.
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Eight provincial hospitals
have been decentralised further to 63 district hospitals and with that we have got 23 General Hospitals, which are now further surrounded by health centres and these health centres are 1223. This is where the question is; that we have got 1223 health centres, which are the clinics that Hon. Mliswa is talking about. However, there are a lot of Hon. Members here from both sides, who have approached our Ministry wanting to finish off clinics, wanting to start off clinics, wanting to be helped with clinics, because of fiscal space it has not been possible to satisfy a lot of those demands that they have. a lot of them have built structures, they want room feeling, they want things put inside. As a Government, we are prepared to give nurses and medicines, but sometimes a lot of our MP’s, traditional leaders, a lot of philanthropists have helped to fulfill that dream of putting more and more clinics. I want to urge Hon. Members to continue with that effort of strengthening the building of those clinics so that we fulfill this dream of targeting that within 8 km, you must come to a next clinic.
It has been an aim for us but because of fiscal space it has not been possible to fulfill that dream of 8 km and I think the 8 km is the land mark that we have put in place. I also urge those who are building clinics, please come to us, wherever we can help each other, we can do so and really it is good for our people that Members of Parliament, Senators and others are helping to put that infrastructure, not just to wait for Government but to put that infrastructure from any corner and that will be welcome for the people of Zimbabwe. I thank you.
HON. MLISWA: The question was simple; from the 2000, how many have been built, even those that the Members of Parliament is talking about have also assisted. It is important that Government is seen to be implementing the policy that it enunciates. That is all I am asking he still has not given me a number.
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you very much Mr.
Speaker Sir. I really like the way you have insisted Hon. Mliswa. So, I will bring you the numbers, because we may not have the numbers now.
HON. GABBUZA: on a point of privilege! Mr. Speaker you were chairing when the Minister of Health and Child Care presented as Ministerial Statement on the strike by our medical doctors. You allowed us to ask, I think there were 5 questions and the Minister was rushing off to somewhere and that he would come back and answer. He never came back to answer. I wish to understand from you Mr. Speaker if the
Minister likely to answer those question and when?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: I remember that instance. Now, that you have the time to ask questions, you may pose the questions that you had on that day which he did not answer.
*HON. MUPFUMI: My question is directed to the Leader of the House. The country has plenty of people who are not able to pay estate duty, what can we do so that this estate duty would be removed for orphans or that the charges should be lowered so that we go forward as a country.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): thank you Mr.
Speaker for the question that he has asked about orphans who are losing their houses because they cannot pay estate duty. In our investigations, orphans are not losing their properties because of not paying estate fees but it is because of disagreements. The Master of High Court looks at those issues and also looks at the rights of these children that they should not lose their properties. So, if they take the proper channels of approaching the Master of High Court, he is compelled to do his duty properly so that they will not lose their property.
HON. MUPFUMI: Orphans are losing their properties; where I come from in Dangamvura and Chikanga we have a lot of them, if they fail to pay estate duty, the Messenger of Court comes and sells the house in order to settle the debt and they will be given the remainder.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: The issue that you have raised Hon. Member is very important to society so I think if you have any particular cases, I think you should give details to the Minster so that he can investigate. Probably, it may be happening in a number of places so, I think give him chance so that he investigate on those cases.
HON. HOLDER: What policy has the Government put in place regarding people who have been awarded to become executors of estate by the High Court. It looks like some of these executors of the estates take advantage and sell the properties without consent. So, what mechanism have you put in place to protect the families that are affected?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank the Hon. Member for the question. The law is very clear, an executor is not allowed to sell the property for personal use and convert the monies – that is illegal and the law is very clear regarding that issue. So, if the Hon. Member has a specific case regarding that I
think it is a case that can be taken up and the law can take its course.
HON. HOLDER: I was not answered clearly. What policy has Government put in place regarding the screening of these executors that have been awarded to become executors of the estate? A person is given by the High Court to say this is an executor of this family because there is a dispute, but you will find that the quickest way for this executor to get rid of the case is that he will advertise the property and sell it as soon as possible without the consent of the beneficiaries. The quickest way lawyer makes money is through is through being an executor of estate – that is what they are doing, they get a person’s property, advertise it, come up with a huge bill, sell it and no one can say anything. That is it.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker Sir. Let me thank the Hon. Member for the question and the clarification that he is seeking. My answer to it is that when an Executor is appointed; he made reference to lawyers who are also governed by the Law Society, the majority of them also have professional bodies that have laws that govern them. Should a case like that happen, that is the reason why I said we may perhaps need to follow the specific cases and have them dealt with accordingly. The law as it is now, covers all those malpractices and I think that if he has a specific case, it can be dealt with. I thank you.
HON. MLISWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. The question I have for the Minister is, what measures is he taking to deal with corruption in the Master of High Court office? For example, there are known companies that are given this task. When the Executor decides that this house must be sold, there are certain real estate agents who just get that and others do not. What measures is he taking to ensure that there is no corruption in the office of the Master of the High Court?
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question which I believe is very important and which I would like to say that indeed within our society, corruption had been entrenched and the said department I would not vouch that it was not happening. It is something that we need to investigate to ensure that allegations like that do not continue. It is one of the deliverables that we want as a Government to ensure that we reduce corruption, but I want to thank the Hon. Member for highlighting that. It is a cause for concern for all of us here. I thank you.
HON. MAONDERA: On a point of privilege.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Do not hide by a point of privilege when you want to ask a question. Can you go ahead?
HON. MAONDERA: Mr. Speaker Sir, while I appreciate the answers that we are getting from the Ministers of Health and Child Care and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, we are sick and tired of mediocrity. Why do these Ministers not resign because some of these answers they are giving us, they are just skirting. Why do they not just resign – [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order. Take your seat please.
That does not arise at all.
HON. DR. LABODE: Mr. Speaker Sir, my question goes to the Minister of Health. I am standing up to ask the Minister of Health and Child Care to ensure that when he is bringing his report on the status of the hospitals and clinics, he becomes clear. He removes the Smith regime clinics, then the clinics that were built later. The question is in relation with the manifesto. We want to know the number of clinics built thereafter. That is what we want to know.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order please. I thought the Minister was clear. There is no point of you going back to that.
*HON. CHIKOMBA: Thank you Hon. Speaker. My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement. Right now in Gokwe, it is harvest time but we do not know the price of cotton so that people prepare. Farmers really worked hard in the fields and would want to know what the price of cotton is.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker. The issue of the price of cotton is still being talked about. We want to find out the proper price so that farmers will be able to go back to the fields. The Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement is working on the scenarios. By the time we get to the selling of cotton, I think they would have been through with the issue.
*HON. CHIKOMBA: I heard what the Minister has said but the issue is that people have challenges. Farmers have started taking their proceeds to the depot but there is no money. Is there a way that they can fast track it so that people will get their money?
*THE ACTING SPEAKER: Can you please repeat your question – [HON. MUNENGAMI: Sekuru zvanzi dzokororai.] – We do not call an Hon. Member ‘sekuru.’ Order Hon. Member, in this
Chamber, there is no ‘sekuru,’ we have Hon. Members.
*HON. CHIKOMBA: I have heard what the Hon. Minister has said. The challenge there is that people are working very hard and they have their own projections. Right now, we have about 50 people who have delivered 50 bales to the depots but they do not know how much they are going to realise. Is there a way people can know how much they are getting?
*HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I have clearly heard the question that already cotton has started to be delivered to the depots.
I think we will expedite the issue so that when people take their produce to the depots, they have to know how much they are realising. We will just try and speed it up. Thank you.
HON. SITHOLE: Thank you Mr. Speaker. The fact that cotton producers have already produced their cotton and the Government at the present moment has no price for the cotton, is it an acknowledgement by the Hon. Minister that we have a failed agricultural policy? Inasmuch as we would want to generate foreign currency, there is no producer price for cotton yet the cotton is already on the market. Is it an acknowledgement of a failed agricultural policy? Thank you.
HON. ZIYAMBI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank the Hon. Member for the question and I want to start by saying that the new administration came into effect in November and the present Cabinet came into effect in December. Ordinarily, what has to happen is that the producer prices have to be negotiated before the start of the season to allow farmers to plan in advance regarding how they would plant their crops. I shall not answer for the previous administration pertaining to what measures they had taken regarding the producer price of cotton. What I say is that, I am making an acknowledgement that this administration is prepared to look into the producer price of cotton that should allow our farmers to go back to the fields and continue to sustainably do farming. I thank you.
HON. T. DUBE: Hon. Speaker Sir, my question is directed to the Minister of Health and Child Care. I come from a constituency that houses a hospital that is supposed to be the referral hospital for five provinces. What I have noticed is that, patients who have renal problems do not have any treatment except that sometimes they are asked to go and look for their consumables for available dialysis machines while at the same time the price for these renal problems treatment are beyond their reach. The price is many times more than any other price that we pay for the same in the region. Can anything be done because a lot of people who should not otherwise be dying are dying?
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir
and let me thank the Honourable for the very important question. I think the issue of supply of renal dialysis machinery in the country is also on the Order Paper and I am also going to answer that. However for now, I am only going to say that the issue of renal patients and in particular the number of people who need renal dialysis is going up all the time. As a result, we are beginning to say to ourselves; what is the biggest cause of the rise of that figure and you will find out that a lot of patients end up wanting renal dialysis or kidney transplant. That is why this country is embarking on the process of trying to put in place kidney transplant mechanisms. However for now, we are saying let every central and district hospital perhaps have a dialysis facility and Mpilo Hospital has got dialysis facilities although they are absolutely not adequate for the region. We used to have twenty seven machines there but sixteen of them are no longer functional. Though we still have some among them still functional, they are also inadequate for that region. That is the reason some people have to travel to Harare or they go to other places in the private sector although the private sector is extremely expensive to the extent that sometimes one session costs two hundred dollars per session in spite of the fact that those people sometimes need three sessions a week; which is very prohibitive.
We are acutely aware we have a very large burden of people who need services of the kidney dialysis machines and we are trying to decentralise the service too. In that drive, Masvingo and Mutare have opened their own centres and we still need more of those. We further need to put in place a mechanism that enables those whose kidneys have really failed and need a transplant, to have the facilities always accessible. In that regard, I am aware that one of our health facilities, Chitungwiza General Hospital, is spearheading the issue and is trying to put up a transplant centre for kidneys.
Summarily as a country, we are focused and we know that we have got that heavy kidney burden even though we need to be cognisant that it is not one of the top five diseases although it is still a very important constituency that we must address. Moreso in terms of Mpilo like what Hon. Tshinga Dube has alluded to, we need to put more machines there so that people do not go into the private sector which is extremely expensive. In the same context, where people fail to get some of the consumables because sometimes they are not available in these facilities, they also end up going to the private sector where they are equally extremely expensive. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. My
supplementary question to the Hon. Minister is that the question that has been put across by the Hon. Tshinga Dube has been coming up almost every year. In particular for the past nine years, I have heard this question coming up. Equally, we had a situation whereby the Hon. Minister had been responding then, stating that we had a better set of machines at Chitungwiza and Bulawayo hospitals. Now, it seems our system is now worse and continually going down. Can the Hon. Minister explain this issue to the people bearing in mind that we are accumulating a lot of debts especially in rural areas because of this problem? Can you really explain to the world and the country at large so that probably you may impress upon the donor community on our real challenges with regards to this issue? Is it to do with the machinery or the human resources that we have in the responsible Ministry or Department? I am saying so from the background that we have renal organisations ready to assist in that regard yet people continue to suffer. Is it that we do not have the motivation to impress upon them so that we get the necessary support? Why is it that we cannot accept our failures so that people get the necessary help? Hon. Minister, please can you respond?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, it is not your duty to ask the Hon. Minister to respond. It is my duty to ask the Hon. Minister to respond, not yours.
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker
Sir and I would like to thank the Honourable Member for the follow up question which is extremely important to the population of this country. It is true that we used to have a little bit more machines than we have now. We had a programme through which we massively imported these machines and that programme was supported by China. Some of these machines went out of function and we have had problems in getting the spare parts for them. Therefore, the numbers went down particularly at
Mpilo because we could not get the spare parts.
We also currently have a very intact programme through which we are intensively training the people who run those dialysis machines. Put simply, we are a very capable people as a country and we have people who can run those machines. It is further neither a question of administration or governance, but a question of lack of resources which is causing us to fail on getting more machines while when they need repairs, we could not get the foreign currency for the spare parts. It is therefore a question of resources that must be answered and that question is important because I even believe we have a lot of people who are currently not presenting their cases to our formal institutions though they could be helped or form part of the relevant statistics that we need.
We also need to search a bit more so that we can be able to help everybody as much as we can in terms of the kidney disease. There are various causes of the kidney diseases and some are caused by infections, drug use, alcohol use and sometimes your genetics in the sense that kidneys can just give up and fail as you grow. All those issues have to be considered in medical health when we talk of diagnosis.
As a country, I think in terms of diagnosing and personnel to diagnose, we are doing extremely well but it is a question of having more resources to be able to purchase the diagnosis machines, to be able to set up renal transplant equipment and machines as well as to establish renal transplant centres that we severely need. We are aware of that and it is not just the kidney diseases but, there are many other situations such as cardiac, heart, liver problems, brain tumors and spinal injuries. We need a lot of money in the health sector. We have the personnel and the infrastructure but we need the monies to be able to keep us to assist people. We also need to actually have internal tourism because there are a lot of our diasporan people who are out there, who are itching to come back, but they will not come back as long as we do not have the infrastructure that builds up towards their skills. I urge you that as a country, let us just focus a little bit more on the money to the health sector. I thank you Mr. Speaker.
Questions without Notice were interrupted by THE ACTING
SPEAKER in terms of Standing Order Number 64.
HON. NDUNA: Mr. Speaker, I ask that the time for Questions without Notice be extended.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I object Mr.
HON. MACHINGAUTA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. THE ACTING SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
*HON. MACHINGAUTA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. In this House, I once raised an issue concerning the use of school property by political parties and also of school children in primary schools attending rallies. I asked the Deputy Minister who was there that he should bring a Ministerial Statement on that and he promised. He was the Deputy Minister to Hon. Dokora but now he is the Minister. As the Minister, I think he should bring the Ministerial Statement because it is still happening where we come from. I thank you. [HON. MEMBERS:
THE ACTING SPEAKER: You are referring your question to the Minister of Higher or Primary Education?
HON. MACHINGAUTA: I am referring this question to Hon.
Prof. Mavima, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education.
THE MINISTER OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (HON. PROF. MAVIMA): Thank you Hon. Speaker. It
is a request for a Ministerial Statement and I think we can prepare one.
*HON. S. CHIDHAKWA: On a point of privilege Mr. Speaker. My point of privilege is directed to the Leader of the House, Hon.
Ziyambi. There is a very important issue which was talked about by the President, the Chirundu/Beitbridge road that those who had been awarded the tender were removed. So, we want Hon. Ziyambi to explain to this House why it had taken so long for those people not to take up the job. We want to know whether it was corruption and we hear that they were given that tender without any equipment. We know that people are dying whilst tenders are awarded to people who are not capable. If it is possible he can bring a Ministerial Statement. I thank you.
*THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): Thank you Mr.
Speaker. Questions are now coming through the back door. The point of privilege comes to you and you direct it to the relevant Minister to comply with what has been said instead of me giving an answer. Thank you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: That question should be directed to the Minister of Transport who is not here.
HON. MLISWA: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. It is to do with the women in Hwange who have been demonstrating for a very long time. This issue was mentioned in Parliament in front of the Speaker. The Leader of Government responded to it and the Minister of Mines responded to it but there has not been any official statement pertaining to that issue. We were entrusted by the women to come and discuss this issue when we visited there as the Committee on Mines and Energy. I do not know the best way forward to address that situation. We remain guided by you.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Mliswa and I am
sure the Minister responsible will pick it from the Hansard. We need
him to make a Ministerial Statement as soon as possible. Thank you very much for those concerns.
ORAL ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE
FORMULATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF USER FRIENDLY
DISABILITY POLICIES IN THE HEALTH SECTOR
- HON. UTA asked the Minister of Heath and Child Care to explain to the House Government’s position regarding formulation and implementation of user friendly disability policies in the health sector.
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. We
recognised that the State must take appropriate measures within the limits of resources available to it to ensure that persons with disabilities realise their full mental physical potential including measures to enable them to become self reliant, live with their families and participate in social, creative and recreational activities. They should also be protected from all forms of exploitation, abuse and to give them access to medical psychological functional treatment and to provide special facilities for their education as well as to State funded education and training where they need it. But, guided by our Constitution on Sections 22 and 83, the relevant international conventions such as the United Nations
Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities, in particular Articles 20, 25 and 26 that specifically mentions the responsibilities of the health sector, the World Health Organisation Global Disability Action Plan, the Better Health for All People with Disabilities; in this context, my Ministry is committed to leaving no one behind in its interventions on persons with disabilities among the targeted populations which have specific programming in view of the challenges they face in assessing and accessing services. Herewith some of the measures that we have taken in place...
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order Hon. Members, let us lower our whispers please.
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: The Ministry of Health
and Child Care have a rehabilitation since 1980 that works together with organisations of people living with disabilities and sectors working in the disability field as well as facilitating linkages with other health programmes. This set up provides a strong platform for persons with disabilities and their organisations to constantly update the Ministry on their needs within the broader health context. The process to further develop the framework and strategy for disability and rehabilitation services within the health sector is underway. We are doing health promotion, prevention and treatment.
Organisations of people with disabilities are aware of the policies and have platforms for communicating and implementing their work in their constituencies their work. The work will involve national disability board, the ward and village committees. A key recommendation from the 2013 survey is to include disability in all population surveys so that we have disaggregated health statistics on people on with disabilities to better inform our programming. This recommendation has been taken on board and the Ministry is ensuring that all surveys, including those done in collaboration with ZIMSTATS, do include some questions and some issues on disability so that such data is readily available.
Another area of major importance is improving access to people with disabilities by reducing communication and attitudinal barriers. To this effect, the Ministry has an ongoing programme of training health providers in disability awareness and we are also in the process of developing a sustainable strategy of having frontline health workers trained in sign language. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
CONSTRUCTION OF CLINICS IN ZAKA DISTRICT
- HON. M. D. V. MAWERE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care, when the Ministry would commence construction of the following clinics in Zaka District: Dekeza Ward 29; Bota Central Ward
24 and Vanyoro Ward 23.
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON.
SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. Currently
there is no fiscal space to support the construction of the three mentioned clinics in Zaka District. However, the Ministry is planning and is pushing for the construction of health posts in all wards nationally. Furthermore, the Ministry has managed to secure funding and launching of the programme of health post in Mashonaland Central and that will eventually spread to other districts and provinces. We will continue to lobby for support from possible donors and partners on infrastructural development as every citizen is supposed to have access to health facility within 8 km radius. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. GUZAH: Thank you Mr. Speaker. My supplementary is
with regards the village health centres that he is speaking about. I think on 29th July, 2015, the Minister spoke in this House and indicated that they are going to rollout village health centres in all the wards in the rural areas. Up to now, there is nothing that is happening. May the Minister respond to that?
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker
Sir. It is true that we had a vision that time. We talked about it that this is our aim to be able to decentralise the health system so that each health centre is surrounded by health posts. We put it to you in 2015 and 2016 as a vision and then we put up the plan. We now have the plan and we are rolling out that now. We are starting with Mashonaland Central where we have already got funding for it. We have put up one health post in Nyanga District with the help of Zimpost, a health post is really a health post it is not a clinic.
When we put it in Nyanga, it was misinterpreted as a big hospital or a clinic. It is a health post which will provide very essential first line treatment and also to educate people around in terms of pregnancy, snake bites and general welfare and hygiene of the people. It is a health post and each health centre, we hope will have these village health posts around so that they fit into the health centre and the health centres fit into the district hospital and the district hospital to the province and et cetera. Yes, that time we mentioned it as a vision but now we have started as a pilot in Mashonaland Central.
STATISTICS OF KIDNEY PATIENTS
- HON. M.D.W. MAWERE asked the Minister of Health and Child Care to provide statistics of people suffering from kidney disease in the country.
THE MINISTER OF HEALTH AND CHILD CARE (HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to thank Hon. Mawere for his question. The number of people from chronic renal failure, the latest statistics we have are from 2014, that is when we did a survey. They were aged from 024 years and from 25 years and above.
We had 2 609 people and we have divided them according to the provinces. In Mashonaland East those between 0 and 24 years were 9; those above 25years were 168. In Mashonaland West, those below 24 were 4 and those above 25 were 220. In Mashonaland Central, those below 24 were 9 and those above 25 were 313. In Matabeleland North, below 24 was 1 and above 25 were 103. Matabeleland South, those below 24 were 7 and above 25 were 82. In Midlands below 24 were 10 and above 25 were 314. In Manicaland, below 24 were 40, above 25 were 17. In Masvingo, below 24 were 33 and above 25 were 191. In Harare Province, those below 24 were 74 and above 25 were 322. In
Chitungwiza it was 26 below 24 years and 133 above 25years. In
Bulawayo, it was 56 below 24 years and 559 above 25 years.
These renal conditions are not on the top ten out of outpatient or inpatient conditions but they are a very important constituents and the following statistics for children only for 2011 to 2015 in those ages. We have given you the statistics and I am not sure why there was such an increase in 2013 but generally we believe that there may be under reporting of these cases as they rely on clinical specialists to make definite diagnostics. These are located mostly in Harare and Bulawayo in some but not all provincial hospitals.
The main causes of these diseases as the 26th World Kidney Disease and Children, it states attention must be drawn to the fact that kidney disease can start at an early age and that prevention needs to be done early. In our part of the world, infections are a big contributor to kidney disease. However, trauma like road traffic accidents or accidents in general is a big cause. Congenital diseases, which means the disease you are born with; the type of constitution you are born with; drugs those who ingest certain drugs and certain side effects of certain drugs or chemicals may cause chronic insult to our kidneys as does some chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, mellitus, high blood pressure and others. Common urinary tract infections to acute what we call glomerulonephritis, all these predispose children to a life of kidney or renal failure if not adequately addressed.
Prevention of infections in children through nationwide programmes such as the promotion exclusive breastfeeding in the first 18 months of life, the issue of vaccination programmes which we must take very seriously. If babies are exclusively breastfed, they benefit immensely from the maternal antibodies for the soldiers that fight diseases which ward off many infections are agents from causing them diseases but also vaccinations give them further benefit of preventing septicemia and other infections. We also try to identify and treat infections early before they spread. We have also put in place a national mass treatment campaign targeting bilharzia. We know that bilharzia has been a neglected disease and causes intestinal worms. There are a lot of people who are sitting here who do not know that they have intestinal worms but we are trying to deworm people and achieving population coverage with a drug called praziquantel that kills the bilharzial parasite, will diminish the chances of chronic kidney disease. We know that bilharzia, the schistosoma themselves infect the bladder, when that bladder is infected causes problems with the renal system.
We currently do not have a budget line for this. I thank you Mr. Speaker
HON. M. D. V. MAWERE: Is the Minister aware that those patients going for dialysis are not getting blood O Negative, it is not available. What effort is he doing?
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Can you come closer, we cannot
hear you from the back.
HON. M. D. V. MAWERE: I was saying is the Minister aware that O Negative blood is not readily available for patients going for dialysis.
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you Mr. Speaker
Sir. I think what we will do is to get a specific area that he is talking about where there is that nonavailability of blood O and relating it to kidney disease. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
HON. NDUNA: Thank you Mr. Speaker. In relationship to kidney transplant and dialysis, what is Government policy regarding the donor policy for vital organs including kidneys from those that would have passed on? Also, included here is the heart transplant and the donation of the same and the sexual organs transplant and the donations of the same. What is Government policy relating to vital organs donation from those that would have passed on but who have vigorous and vital organs that are still functional and are able to be used by those that are still living?
HON. SEN. DR. PARIRENYATWA: Thank you very much. I
really appreciate Mr. Speaker that very futuristic question. What we are hoping to do obviously, when we do transplants, not only of kidney or heart or brain, we will have an intact policy that deals with vital organs. That will be put and passed through this Parliament so that we are all aware and alert that if you want to donate, what do you have to do. That has to be put in place and it is not in place yet. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: In view of the fact that we have no Ministers now to answer the rest of the questions that have remained here, we now move on to Notice of Presentation of Bill by the Hon.
Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
HON. MUTSEYAMI: On a point of order Mr. Speaker. I think it must be put on record that the fact that there are no Ministers to answer, it is not supposed to be washed away. It must be noted and it must be a matter of concern to the nation. When we started our Session today, there was understanding that Ministers will trickle in but hardly did we have any Minister since we started up to now. It must be a cause of concern bearing in mind that when we moved into the new dispensation, there was an appreciation that we are going to have a different move of culture but we hardly have any difference, it is getting worse. That must be noted as a matter of concern that our Leader of the House, Hon. Ziyambi must take cognisance and must as well address that as a matter of urgency to probably speak to His Excellency to address this matter before elections so that we probably see something better from the new dispensation because everything is getting worse.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order. Hon. Member, I think you are being honest. I did promise that Ministers were coming in and indeed they came in. I thought what your concern could be is that they left early without attending to the questions. That could be your concern, otherwise, they did come in. I am advised that the Minister of
Energy has given the answers to his questions to the Leader of the
House. In that case, we revert to questions.
COST OF RADIO AND TELEVISION LICENCES
- HON. UTA asked the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services to explain why the cost of radio and television licences are higher than those obtaining in the region.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE
ACTING MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND
BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. S. K. MOYO): Mr. Speaker
Sir, I want to thank Hon. Uta for the question. Allow me Mr. Speaker Sir to address the issue of the licencing at two levels, at the regulatory and operational level. At the regulatory level, whilst the issue of comparing fees levied in different economies is not straight forward as different economic factors come into play, the following are contributory factors to the relatively higher radio and television licence fee charges in Zimbabwe when compared to the region.
The first one Mr. Speaker Sir, in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act, sustenance of the Authority’s operations is through licence fees, penalties and fiscal support. Over the years, the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe has not received sufficient support from the fiscus to sustain its operations, a move that prompted the regulatory authority to review its licence fees in 2011 to address the issue.
Secondly, the issuance of radio and television licences as set out in the Broadcasting Services Act, [Chapter 12:06], requires the licensing authority, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe to conduct public inquiries to allow for public participation in determining the suitability of applicants to be licensed. Furthermore, during any licensing process, the number of board and board committee meetings also increases as applications need to be evaluated. These requirements present a significant budget to the Authority, which would ordinarily be offset through fiscal support to sustain the licensing process.
It should also be noted that most licensing regulators in the region are converged regulators who licence both broadcasting and telecommunication services. This scenario makes it easier to apply crosssubsidisation between broadcasting and telecommunication licensing and regulation, thereby lowering the licence fees for broadcasting since telecommunication generates significantly higher regulatory revenues which easily absorb all licensing regulatory costs.
In view of the funding challenge that the Authority faces, against numnerous calls for radio and television licences to be issued, the Authority reviewed its licence fees in 2011 to a level that closely makes the licensing and regulatory burden selfsustaining. This move by the Authority, although presenting a potential barrier to entry for broadcasting applicants, has enabled the Authority to meet the bulk of its operational costs and to kick start any licensing process, resulting in the issuance of ten new radio licences since 2011.
As it stands, the annual licence fees are pegged at %15 000 for national commercial radio, $18 000 for national commercial television, $5 000 for local commercial radio and $1 000 for community radio.
Mr. Speaker Sir, at the operational level, the television and radio licence fees currently being charged by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting
Corporation (ZBC) seem to be higher than those obtaining in the region. South Africa charges around US$25, Zambia, US$18 and Botswana, US$15, just to sample a few. All the mentioned public broadcasters receive budgetary support by way of direct grant from Government to complement the licence fees collection contrary to the current practice in this country where ZBC does not get any financial assistance from the fiscus.
National or public broadcasters are the custodians of the national mandate and this cannot be entirely funded from the commercial revenues as this compromises the social obligation of keeping the nation informed. The funding method ensures security and stability in order to guarantee smooth delivery of the national mandate.
Zimbabwe is still using the analogue technology which has a lot of overheads, which makes it costly to run broadcasting operations. The technology has to be supported by additional unavoidable cost such as Transmission Data Circuits from TelOne, high electricity consumption per transmitter and so on. However, this is expected to significantly improve after migration to digital technology where some of these costs will be eliminated. The major use of the licence fees is content generation in line with the provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act (Chapter 12.06), which imposes certain obligations on the public broadcaster under the Seventh Schedule (Section 11(1) (b1) as follows; The broadcasting service operated by a public broadcaster shall;
- Make programmes available to Zimbabweans in all the languages commonly used in Zimbabwe;
- Reflect both the unity and diverse cultural and multilingual nature of Zimbabwe;
- Strive to be of high quality in all the languages served;
- Provide news and public affairs programming which meets the highest standards of journalism, and which is fair and unbiased and independent from Government, commercial or other interests;
- Enrich the cultural heritage of Zimbabwe by providing support for traditional and contemporary artistic expression;
- Strive to offer a broad range of services aimed in particular at children, women, the youth and the disabled;
- Include programmes commissioned from independent producers;
- Include programmes featuring national sports as well as developmental and minority sports;
These requirements should be discharged in a manner that is free from commercial pressures, hence, the need for licence fees.
As alluded to earlier on, the digitalisation programme will result in the drastic reduction of the licensing fees to affordable rates mainly anchored by the technology which is going to improve compliance. Complementary to the programme will be improved advertising revenue as the number of channels increase naturally pushing the license fees rates downwards. Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
CRITERIA USED BY THE NATIONAL TELEVISION ON THE
- HON. UTA asked the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services to state the criteria used by the national television to check whether the content resonates with the public viewers.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE
ACTING MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND
BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. S. K. MOYO): Thank you
Mr. Speaker Sir. I want to thank Hon. Uta for asking the question. It is critical for the national broadcaster, ZBC to produce content which meets the expectation of the viewers. In this manner, broadcasting will become useful to the nation.
Your national broadcaster, ZBC has employed a multiplicity of methods to find out what the viewers want to watch on television. These are as follows:
ZBC carries out Audience research as a way of finding out what viewers want to watch on television. A reputable research institute, Select Research, carried out one such audience survey and I am reliably informed that the corporation is still referring to the findings of this survey. This is one effective tool, which the national broadcaster employs.
The national broadcaster also uses the Zimbabwe All Media
Products (ZAMPS) research to gauge what viewers want to see. The ZAMPS research, which is not specifically targeted at ZBC products alone, but all media as the name implies, helps the national broadcaster to appreciate if the content on air is still liked by the audience and adjustments are then made accordingly.
Application of questionnaires
The national broadcaster has also used various public functions to administer questionnaires randomly, which enable viewers to state their views on programming, and such views are taken seriously in the scheduling of programmes.
Social Media Feedback Platforms
Most television programmes are becoming interactive through the use of social media platforms. Such platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhattsApp give viewers an opportunity to express their views on running programmes, thereby enabling the national broadcasting to know the impact of its content and adjust accordingly if need be.
Through the various telephone numbers of ZBC, viewers are also able to get in touch with the national broadcaster and give their views on programming. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
WRITTEN SUBMISSION TO QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE ELECTRIFICATION OF SCHOOLS AND CLINIC IN MHONDORO
- HON. GANGARAHWE asked the Minister of Energy and Power Development when the following schools and clinic in
MhondoroMubaira Constituency will be electrified, considering that the connection fees were fully paid three years ago:
- Mavhudzi Secondary School in Ward 8;
- Marowa Primary School in Ward 9;
- Mufuka Primary School in Ward 9;
- Mazorodze Secondary School in Ward 9;
- Mhondoro North Clinic in Ward 9; and
- Chimatira Primary School.
THE MINISTER OF ENERGY AND POWER DEVELOPMENT
(HON. S. K. MOYO): Mr. Speaker Sir, let me hasten to say that all the 5 schools’ points are now connected, that is Mavhudzi Secondary School in Ward 8; Marowa Primary School in Ward 9; Mufuka Primary School in Ward 9; Mazorodze Secondary School in Ward 9; Mhondoro North
Clinic in Ward 9; and Chimatira Primary school.
As for the Mhondoro North Clinic in Ward 9, the institution failed initial inspection and has been advised to rectify the defects. Connection is anticipated by end of March 2018 subject to rectification of the defects by the institution. I thank you Mr. Speaker Sir.
TRANSMITTER FOR TELEVISION SIGNAL IN MUZARABANI
- HON. MUFUNGA asked the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services to inform the House when the Ministry would set up a transmitter for television signal in Muzarabani
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) on behalf of THE
ACTING MINISTER OF INFORMATION, MEDIA AND BROADCASTING SERVICES (HON. S. K. MOYO): Mr. Speaker
Sir, I want to thank Hon. Mufunga for asking that question.
The Muzarabani area is one of those parts of Zimbabwe that currently do not receive any Zimbabwean television services due to the absence of television transmission to serve that area. Through the Zimbabwe Digital Broadcasting Migration Project, a television transmitter will be installed at St. Albert’s Mission to enable television services to be received by the population in Muzarabani and surrounding areas.
Although Muzarabani had been prioritised for digital television transmission equipment installation under the digitalisation project, a setback was encountered when it was established that the tower at St. Albert’s Mission needed to be replaced on account of structural unfitness to be installed with the television transmission equipment. Together with six other towers namely, Rutenga, Beit Bridge, Mt.
Darwin, Plumtree, Victoria Falls and Masvingo, the St. Albert’s Mission tower is earmarked for replacement under the 2018 budget allocation, followed by the installation of equipment, if provision is made, under the
MONEY LAUNDERING AND PROCEEDS OF CRIME
AMENDMENT BILL [HB, 4 OF 2018]
THE MINISTER OF LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY
AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) presented the Money Laundering and
Proceeds of Crime Amendment Bill [H. B. 4, 2018].
Bill read the first time.
Bill referred to the Legal Parliamentary Committee.
COMPANIES AND OTHER BUSINESS ENTITIES BILL [HB 3,
THE MINISTER OF LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY
AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI) presented the Companies and other
entities Bill [H. B. 3, 2018].
Bill read the first time.
Bill referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee.
HON. MLISWA: On a point of privilege! Mr. Speaker Sir, it is good that we have the Minister of Sports and Culture here. It would be important for him to tell the nation about the dismal performance of the Cricket team. I think it is an issue which has affected the cricket loving fraternity of Zimbabwe, also affected from an international point of view.
The Minister must tell us why cricket performed dismally yet Cricket is one of the most funded sports in the country. So, I am glad that the Minister is here, I think the nation of Zimbabwe expects us to say something and not to be quiet. I think the Minister should issue a statement pertaining to the situation in cricket and the way forward.
Heath Streak and Tatenda Taibu were fired for no reason, the board still remains, the board has fired all the coaches that have come but the board has never been fired itself. So, it is important for the Minister to Act according to Section 32 of the Sports and Recreation Act that he is empowered to dissolve the board and put an interim committee that will ensure that the smooth running of cricket goes. We need to enjoy the status that Zimbabwe used to enjoy when it came to cricket.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI): I move that the
House do now adjourn – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.]
HON. MARIDADI: On a point of order! My point of order is pertaining to an issue that has been raised by Hon. Temba Mliswa which is very pertinent. We expected that you would give a ruling and the Minister would then make a commitment that he comes with a statement. He is now a Minister of Government, you are no longer a boy who walks in the streets and you must give a press statement.
THE MINISTER OF SPORTS AND CULTURE (HON.
KAZEMBE): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. I would like to sincerely thank the Hon. Member for raising such a pertinent issue and I would like to assure him that in the very near future, I will make a statement. The Hon. Member is very correct that the Zimbabwe Cricket Board fired the technical staff, from what I understand from him; he is quite perturbed. Under the same breath, it would also be premature to fire the board, that amounts to an immediate recreation which is exactly what he is he against. So, we will take the necessary steps to ensure that we get all the information and then I will prepare an official statement. I thank you.
HON. MLISWA: The issue of firing the coach Heath Streak was based on racism which is baseless. At no point has Hitesh has been racist and it is important that a tone be set in the country because we cannot have a situation where people accuse people being racist yet they are mismanaging the sport. As a Minister it is important, if you do not issue a statement then he admits that there is racism in sport.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: The Minister has already alluded that
he is going into it and then make a statement later. So, he cannot just make a statement from nowhere. He has to do his research and then make a ministerial statement. It had already been moved that the House do now adjourn and I had posed a question that is there any debate?
HON. GONESE: No, no, no there is debate. Thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir. I just wanted to point out that yesterday the Hon.
Minister moved a motion to suspend the provisions of the Standing
Orders relating to automatic adjournment until the passage of the Electoral Amendment Bill. As such, Members of Parliament particularly on your left came geared up for the debate. This is a very critical Bill which is before us and we are willing and able to do justice to the Bill.
I just wanted to say it in the presence of the Hon. Minister that we are ready, we discussed it that Members wanted to have sight of the amendments which he came up with. Members have done so and we are ready for the debate. For that reason Mr. Speaker, we are not agreeable to the House being adjourned because the issue of the elections is a critical one. We all want to have free, fair, legitimate and credible elections. For that reason Mr. Speaker, it is in the interest of this country that we utilise the time that we have on our hands to ensure that we do justice to the debate on the Bill which is already before us. I am therefore not agreeable to the House adjourning Mr. Speaker.
Hon. Gonese and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary
Affairs (Hon. Ziyambi) approached the Chair.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order, order, you are not at a rally, take your seats please – [HON. MEMBERS: [Inaudible interjections.] Order Hon. Members, take your seats. Order, order Hon. Members, I now call for a division on the issue of those who want the House to adjourn and those who do not want the House to be adjourned.
HON. MUNENGAMI: On a point of order and on a point of privilege Hon. Speaker. This is a very important issue whereby you cannot call for a division. This is a very important aspect in as far as our elections are concerned. Hon. Members, we cannot be used to call for a division on this aspect. Let us debate the Bill; simple and simple and simple. Honestly, how can we be called for a division for something that will determine our future? How can we do that? Hon. Members, how can we allow such a scenario to happen?
HON. MUKWANGWARIWA: Hon. Speaker, there is no quorum.
HON. MUNENGAMI: We will never be used. We will never allow that. How can you divide the House on a serious issue that is very important? – [HON. MEMBERS: Inaudible interjections.] – [HON. MUTSEYAMI: Taurai mafree and fair elections muZimbabwe not kuEurope.] –
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Order please, order please. I am going to repeat again that, I put the question that the House be now adjourned.
Hon. Members from the Opposition having shouted no.
THE ACTING SPEAKER: Can you take your seats, I have heard your song please.
Motion put and agreed to.
On the motion of THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (HON. ZIYAMBI), the House
adjourned at Five Minutes to Five o’clock p.m.